By Niels Viaene
Yes, we are already a month into the Zendikar Rising Season of Gentry, and things are shaping up. In this article, we will be looking at the top-performing decklists of Episode 3 and 4, you can check some of the earlier lists in the previous article about the launch of season XII. Of course, you can also go to MTGMelee, the site that hosts all the events, and get access to every single deck that has been played in Gentry. Just make sure you are looking at lists in the XII season or you might be playing cards that are no longer legal.
4-0 Thanh Van
Thanh has been on a meteoric rise in the Gentry community, sporting a deck that people will always turn to to test a metagame, the unbridled power of mono red. In many ways this is one of the measuring sticks of what Magic at a competitive level is about, if your deck can not handle an aggressive deck that has reach, you probably should not try to get involved.
There currently are many flavors of mono red, with Thanh going for a Companion oriented Sacrifice theme here, making use of Weaponise the Monesters with the fodder producing Anax, Hardened in the Forge giving this deck surprising staying power of something that can come out of the gates so quickly.
3-1 Jelle Lauers
This is essentially a kicker deck and delves very deeply into the Zendikar Rising cardpool for that. In that regard is is largely a selfbuilding deck and while Jelle has struggled a bit to perform well with it, he found himself with a positive record in this edition of the Gentry Weekly. Vince Gecko and Roost of Drakes form a really scary engine together but current card availability seems just too low to really have a well rounded deck. The metagame is still in full development, however, so for now the deck should be fine to play and the core definitely deserves some attention as soon as more spells with kicker are added to the cardpool.
3-1 Lars Meeussen
We already talked about Mono-Red being a primordial archetype for Magic, but so is Mono-White Weenie. For as long as we had magic, turning little white creatures sideways has been a prime strategy. Throw in some team wide bonuses and creatures that help eachother out and you have a really strong battle plan that is supported by most metagames in some shape or another.
Lars chooses here to go for an extremely threat-dense way of building the deck, opting to forego many of the spell-based team boosts. I assume he did this to put more pressure on control decks who love nothing more than to answer only creatures and leave you with a pile of dead cards in your hand.
Currently, Control seems to be struggling, with only Dimir Rogues putting up good average results, and I say average, as the deck had both the best performing and worst performing players choosing it in the past 4 events. Dimir Control is still very much a player, but with the metagame all over the place it seems like they are having a hard time figuring out how to attack the metagame for now.
4-0 Karl Lister
Wanting none of the fancy new tools, Karl brought Ikoria back to the forefront with this Simic, splash removal Mutate deck. Yes, it lost Arboreal Grazer, and that really slows the deck down but that does not mean it is gone whatsoever. In fact, that makes this deck extra scary, as printing better early game for this deck will instantly boost it to scary levels.
3-1 Robbe Schildermans
Nothing new here, Dimir Rogues is making a serious case to be called best deck in the format. People are now universally adopting Into the Story as a reload tool for the lategame as this deck does not have the fastest finish and needs to rely on keeping up one for one interaction or it will fall behind and lose. There are still people experimenting with Cunning Nightbonder but it seems like the extra flexibility of Heartless Act is outperforming for now. The former being better against Control, the latter versus big creatures, and the metagame still being Control-light.
3-1 Thanh Van
Hot off a 4-0 finish the week before Thanh decided to switch decks and brought an updated version of Food / Sacrifice. The deck used to be very focused on the Cat+Oven Combo but now that is gone a whole new deck can be build. The stand-in to have cycling food for Trail of Crumbs is Savvy Hunter which, if unanswered will single handedly do the task of generating plenty of food-related triggers.
There are definitely some directions this deck can be taken into and I for one look forward to exploring them in the near future.
3-1 Peter Jönsson
Peter has been tweaking this decklist for a few weeks now and things are starting to look like a settled deck. Realizing there is no longer a sweeper to exile all your creatures at uncommon, Peter revisited all the value engines he gave up on in the last yea, only to unleash them upon us with vengeful fury. This is a deck that, once it gets rolling, will night unstoppably waltz over anything that stands in its way to a degree that I would not be surprised to see graveyard hate in sideboards to fight this if it gets popular. For now, it is just a pet deck of a good player, but I would not sleep on this creation!
The start of the leaderboard was very much about the Swedish superstars flexing their muscles, with both Teddie Andersson and Peter Jönsson stepping up and taking the lead. Thanh has now come pretty much out of nowhere to claim the top slot for Kortrijk. If you ask me, it is time for Ghent to step up and show that the birthing city of Gentry has what it takes to secure the crown.
Brew hard and stay safe,